FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – “It’s all my fault,” sobs a distraught Javier Reyes during an interview with a Florida Highway Patrol investigator in the days after the deadly wrong way crash involving Reyes’ girlfriend and fiancé, Kayla Mendoza.
Reyes described how he never let Mendoza drive his car but on November 16, 2013, he made a fateful choice and allowed her to drive to her job at T-Mobile in Tamarac. His audio interview with FHP is included in a batch of recordings released Monday by the Broward State Attorney’s Office along with dozens of newly released photos of the accident scene on the Sawgrass Expressway. Mendoza faces eight criminal charges in the crash that killed Marisa Catronio and Kaitlyn Ferrante. FHP says Mendoza drove the wrong way at speeds between 84 and 96 miles per hour for 5 miles before the deadly impact.
During his interview, Reyes, who claimed that he didn’t know Mendoza did not have a driver’s license, became emotional discussing the decision to let Mendoza use his car.
”We go to school together,” Reyes told the investigator. “I would take her to work. I would do everything for her. And then this day out of all days I let her take the car. And I said ‘Okay, just go to work and come back home.'”
Reyes told an investigator that he was upset Mendoza went out with her co-workers from T-Mobile after work instead of coming home.
”She was like, ‘Oh, I’m just eating with my co-workers and everything,'” Reyes said. “And I was like, ‘You know what? Just have a good time but please get home safely. I want to see you home. Please get home. Please just get home. And then she didn’t come home.'”
The pair argued and Reyes said the argument prompted Mendoza’s infamous “too drunk to care tweet” and possibly, he believes, led to the crash.
”It was all my fault,” he said. “It was all my fault. I should have just been like, ‘It’s okay, baby. It’s okay. No worries. You know what. Just go eat. Have fun. Just come home to your baby.”
Reyes told CBS4 News last year in an exclusive year that the tweet was meant for him.
“What people don’t understand is that tweet was directed toward me,” Reyes said during the interview. “‘2 drunk 2 care’ about my feelings and me being a little jealous, possessive.”
Among those with Mendoza at Tijuana Taxi Company was her T-Mobile supervisor Marcelo Bruzzo. He told an FHP investigator that the waitress did not ask for ID and Mendoza wondered if she would get served.
”(A)s she was ordering drinks, (Mendoza) just kind of looked over and said, ‘You think I’ll get served?,'” Bruzzo told an investigator. “And I said, ‘Look, I’m — if you get kicked out, if they — if — for whatever reason, that’s not my responsibility.'”
Bruzzo remembered Mendoza drinking two large margaritas. He also remembered dropping Mendoza at her car as their night ended only a short time before the fatal crash.
FHP: “Did she seem to be under the influence at the time that you dropped her off?”
BRUZZO: I can’t really say. I don’t recall much.”
BRUZZO: “You know, my main priority was just getting back to — getting where all my friends are…”
As Mendoza lay recuperating in a hospital bed, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper came to talk to her.
FHP: “Do you wish to make any statements or answer questions that I have for you at this time?”
FHP: “You said no?”
Mendoza did not want to talk about the crash. She only spoke about the car she was driving, which belonged to Reyes.
”…my boyfriend and I are in a relationship,” she told an investigator. “He purchased the vehicle. The vehicle is in his name. Something goes wrong and he has the car. Whatever the case is, the issue is that, what I thought was going to work, it’s not. So, we have to fix it.”
Read more, click here.
Watch Carey Codd’s report, click here.
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